They came — young, talented and ambitious — ready to experience a hotbed of millennial upswing and Midwestern hospitality. They’re leaving disappointed, underwhelmed and unwelcomed.
In 2014, Melanie Guthrie, a black 28-year-old social media whiz from Chicago, thought Kansas City, the “Silicon Prairie,” could be a cool place to plant her roots.
She changed her mind. Last year, she and her fiance, a D.C. native and former Ford engineer, packed their bags and headed for Dallas, where they are now planning marriage, home ownership and a family.
Last November, Brian Oluwole, a 26-year-old systems engineer from Atlanta, thought he’d settle in Kansas City for a while, too. Now? “Not planning on staying here too long,” he says.
Pamela Awe, a 21-year-old recent college grad and pharmacy consultant, moved here from Chicago last year. Now she’s planning her exit: “End of this year,” she predicts.
The reason these young, black professionals are leaving? Kansas City’s social scene.